Arrived 1am Monday morning to Chicago Midway, windchill was -40. It was colder here than the South Pole on Monday and Tuesday. Although it is Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, I find it pretty impressive!

FL 290 
Pax 6 
GS 515kts 
HS125-700 
Goodland KS 

"Good afternoooon Denver center Hawker level 290" 
” Hawker roger cleared direct Bradford” 

The November sun is high over Kansas in the Southwestern sky, local time is just after 2pm. My now favorite passenger has just served the captain and I a pork burritos, a welcome treat for both of us. 

The jet stream is lending us a great hand today as it pushes us towards Chicago MDW,  but the weather section of my mind is running its paces. I’ve been looking at the weather since yesterday afternoon, and it’s less than welcoming. Severe weather alerts headlined USA Today “severe thunderstorms, hail, and damaging winds”. Not quite the blue skies and light winds that pilots love.  Oh yeah, the passenger who just served me the burrito is a nervous flyer. We’ve warned her about the bumpy ride in. 

70 miles east of Goodland and a United is reporting constant chop at 340. Clouds are popping up on the horizon ahead.. Occasional bumps are hitting us. The weather begins.

"Cleared for the ILS 31C circle to land runway 22L, tower at RUNTS" 

We are descending through 4,000 feet and have been in the clouds for a few minutes now, it was nice to see that these were not towering when we entered. Things are getting darker now and the rain pelts the windshield loudly. Our crab angle to track the inbound course is increasing as we descend into turbulent winds. 

We break out at 2,000 feet and 2 miles from the airport. Cleared to land 22L. 

The turn to downwind is more of a reduction in crab angle and a drift downwind. Entering base leg the tower requests us to offset to runway 22R, the shorter runway. This makes things more difficult factoring in the rain, and shifting gusty winds requiring increased final approach speed. Maintaining control on final this windy evening is not an easy task. Tornadoes have been touching down all over the state of Illinois, this is intense. 

Crossing the threshold and settling towards the runway we take out the crab and roll the upwind wheel onto the runway first. A surprisingly smooth touchdown; a nice bonus. Final flaps and speed brakes are creating a lot of drag helping us get stopped before the end of the runway. 

The passengers are obviously pleased with the performance, thanking us as they step off the aircraft.

FL 290 
Pax 6 
GS 515kts
HS125-700 
Goodland KS

"Good afternoooon Denver center Hawker level 290"
” Hawker roger cleared direct Bradford”

The November sun is high over Kansas in the Southwestern sky, local time is just after 2pm. My now favorite passenger has just served the captain and I a pork burritos, a welcome treat for both of us.

The jet stream is lending us a great hand today as it pushes us towards Chicago MDW, but the weather section of my mind is running its paces. I’ve been looking at the weather since yesterday afternoon, and it’s less than welcoming. Severe weather alerts headlined USA Today “severe thunderstorms, hail, and damaging winds”. Not quite the blue skies and light winds that pilots love. Oh yeah, the passenger who just served me the burrito is a nervous flyer. We’ve warned her about the bumpy ride in.

70 miles east of Goodland and a United is reporting constant chop at 340. Clouds are popping up on the horizon ahead.. Occasional bumps are hitting us. The weather begins.

"Cleared for the ILS 31C circle to land runway 22L, tower at RUNTS"

We are descending through 4,000 feet and have been in the clouds for a few minutes now, it was nice to see that these were not towering when we entered. Things are getting darker now and the rain pelts the windshield loudly. Our crab angle to track the inbound course is increasing as we descend into turbulent winds.

We break out at 2,000 feet and 2 miles from the airport. Cleared to land 22L.

The turn to downwind is more of a reduction in crab angle and a drift downwind. Entering base leg the tower requests us to offset to runway 22R, the shorter runway. This makes things more difficult factoring in the rain, and shifting gusty winds requiring increased final approach speed. Maintaining control on final this windy evening is not an easy task. Tornadoes have been touching down all over the state of Illinois, this is intense.

Crossing the threshold and settling towards the runway we take out the crab and roll the upwind wheel onto the runway first. A surprisingly smooth touchdown; a nice bonus. Final flaps and speed brakes are creating a lot of drag helping us get stopped before the end of the runway.

The passengers are obviously pleased with the performance, thanking us as they step off the aircraft.

I’ve been flying so much lately I haven’t had a lot of time for updates

I’ll try and get some up soon

Glacier National Park 

Lake McDonald, Montana

Such beautiful scenery. So thankful for everything I get to experience and see. 

IG: Cjgilbert14

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Asiana 214

Sad to see the Asiana crash yesterday, but thankfully most everyone survived. 

It seems like they didn’t understand the time it takes for a jet engine to produce power, especially after getting low and slow on approach. They called for a go around 7 seconds before impact, and power may not have been added until 4 seconds before impact. Sadly too late.
 

I know it’s still a speculation at this point, but this is my guess. Either way this is helpful information for any jet pilot. 

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Around the Country in a day

VNY SFO BKL TEB SLN VNY 
Hawker 700
FL330 
Somewhere over Colorado
2 passengers
 Cleared to land at SFO the runway environment is insight and passengers for should be arriving in 45 minutes. Just enough time to eat my Subway sandwich that’s sitting in the galley, and make sure the cabin is set for the passengers. As we taxi into Signature Aviation a bank of fog rolls in behind us, I’m watching closely as I take another look at the instrument departure procedure. I have time to get our next flight plan, prepare the cabin, and take stroll around the FBO, I’m not surprised the passengers are late. This is usual in the world of charter flights, the people show up when they want. A bit over an hour after our scheduled departure our passengers arrive and make their way on board the plane. A squeak and thud from the door handle, along with a safety light, assure me that the door is closed and locked. Ready for taxi.. 
Typical of San Francisco weather in February our fog bank has now cleared and we are ready for a departure into the wild blue yonder, soon to be black as we fly East with the late evening sun setting at our backs.  The flight is rather un-eventful as we cross the western states, I watch the lights flicker on in the towns below as darkness falls and imagine all the people going about their different lives. It’s interesting to think how many similarities we all share yet we are all unique.  I glance at the fuel gauges and cross check the VORs as we pass over Detroit and begin planning our descent into Cleveland. Looking out at the Great Lakes I remember sailing with my grandfather, now I’m flying over the same waters and I know he’d be proud. 
Descending through flight level 180 I set the altimeters for the local setting and pick up the weather from Cleveland. It’s about 10 degrees below freezing and snow showers; 60 degrees of San Fran sounds really nice at this point. 
Before we enter the clouds I prime the anti-ice system and brief the approach. With the lights on the snow flying by looks like shooting stars. After a smooth touch down in Cleveland and a quick de-planing, I was ready to get the warm hotel room. The clock said 2am as I walked into my room that night. Life in the skies continues as I look forward to another day of flying. image
Oatman Arizona: a town stuck in the past. 

During my recent flight training I had a free afternoon on the last day after passing my check rides. I decided to stay an extra night in Arizona to give myself some time to explore and avoid driving through a snow storm on the way home.
I stumbled into this town in the mountains that was stuck in the past, Oatman. An old mining town with descendants of the original burros brought in to pull the mining carts, now freely roaming the streets. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people living in the town are also descendants of the miners. During WWII mining operations were brought to a stop because of the war effort, but recently small mining activities have resurfaced. At least that’s what I was told by a couple shop keepers in town. 
Driving into the mountains that rise up above the Colorado River, I found Oatman nestled into a canyon area. Hidden from view until you arrive. I parked and began to walk into town when I saw the first burrow I figured it was someone’s pet. I was mistaken. Shortly after I noticed there were Burrows roaming main street, literally stopping cars for food. One Burrow would stand in front of a car while the other would walk up to the driver window and hope for a kind hand to reach out and offer some food. The street was lined with buildings that still retained the style of the old west, the only difference was the added tourists walking the board walks. The board walk was also lined with gumball dispensers that were filled with alfalfa pellets to feed to the Burrows. 
I was amazed by this town, and loved exploring it. I wish I had more time to spend looking around. It reminded me of my dad and driving to visit our family New Mexico. We explored nearly every ghost town and Indian ruin and village in that state. It’s great adventure and fun to go to these places. The history is so rich and captivating it’s hard to  leave. 

One of the greatest things about being a pilot is exploring new places. I’ve flown all over California and into Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona, but I can’t wait for the adventures that lie ahead. 

Oatman Arizona: a town stuck in the past. 

During my recent flight training I had a free afternoon on the last day after passing my check rides. I decided to stay an extra night in Arizona to give myself some time to explore and avoid driving through a snow storm on the way home.

I stumbled into this town in the mountains that was stuck in the past, Oatman. An old mining town with descendants of the original burros brought in to pull the mining carts, now freely roaming the streets. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people living in the town are also descendants of the miners. During WWII mining operations were brought to a stop because of the war effort, but recently small mining activities have resurfaced. At least that’s what I was told by a couple shop keepers in town. 

Driving into the mountains that rise up above the Colorado River, I found Oatman nestled into a canyon area. Hidden from view until you arrive. I parked and began to walk into town when I saw the first burrow I figured it was someone’s pet. I was mistaken. Shortly after I noticed there were Burrows roaming main street, literally stopping cars for food. One Burrow would stand in front of a car while the other would walk up to the driver window and hope for a kind hand to reach out and offer some food. The street was lined with buildings that still retained the style of the old west, the only difference was the added tourists walking the board walks. The board walk was also lined with gumball dispensers that were filled with alfalfa pellets to feed to the Burrows. 

I was amazed by this town, and loved exploring it. I wish I had more time to spend looking around. It reminded me of my dad and driving to visit our family New Mexico. We explored nearly every ghost town and Indian ruin and village in that state. It’s great adventure and fun to go to these places. The history is so rich and captivating it’s hard to  leave. 

One of the greatest things about being a pilot is exploring new places. I’ve flown all over California and into Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona, but I can’t wait for the adventures that lie ahead. 

Volunteer Pilot

Does anyone know anything about volunteer pilot opportunities? I have heard about things like Angle Flight, but I do not have my own aircraft. I would like to find an opportunity where I can volunteer my flying services without providing an aircraft. 

P.S. Flying in Alaska would be exciting! 

Inbok me your ideas and opinions